Faces painted on walls
Dripping with grime
Faces etched in stone
More grimace than lime
In a gin and tonic
That numbs so little
The cracked and faded
Grins we whittle
As we drift ever deeper
Into backlit dreams
Of little challenged
Rhymes and memes
I am here, that, too
And as the grinding wail
Of steel on steel
Punctures the silence
I too, fade, fail
Where’s the video to show the commute you say? It will be up soon, I need to do a bit of editing first.
It’s interesting that you can walk around filming without anyone paying any attention to you at all. No one seems to notice, or at least care.
If you want your commute to look like this, join us!
Yes, we’re hiring, click on the links below:
Senior Software Engineer
(disclaimer: the comments and content on this blog are strictly personal!)
Spice up your commute? Use Edgeware Road station. It’s not Paddington!
It’s true – after six years in London, this is the first time I used Edgeware Road station. There are many more of these if I need more new things!
I’d avoid this particular station at rush hour, though – I didn’t realise it was one of the deep-level stations with a lift instead of an escalator.
I used to work near Cardinal Place. For our entire stay in the area, our office was next to a very deep hole. That hole was to become the new entrance to Victoria tube station. Instead of doing something romantic for Valentine’s Day, I decide to take a small detour on the way home and use the new entrance to the station.
A shiny tube station at Cardinal Place
Most of Victoria is a seething mass of humanity during rush hour, but this entrance was still relatively quiet. It would have been great if it was open when we were still at the office there, as tube station opens up right at the entrance to our old office building.
I quite like this entrance, the passages are all much wider than they are at older tube stations, with higher ceilings and a better airflow. It makes me look forward to Crossrail opening even more. It’s almost like tube station designers are getting better. That’s a good think, as I really don’t like being underground or in tube stations. They make me a bit nervous. I don’t like not being in control of things, and entering a station at rush hour is an irreversible decision. Or at least it feels like it.
Anyway, if you’re interested in engineering or transport, it’s worth walking the other way at Victoria for a view into what the tube would have been like if it had been designed in the 21st century, rather than being a haphazard tangle built over more than a century.
The new office
A new office and a new commute, quite a big thing for the new thing for the day. The new office is actually quite amazing. It’s the first time that I’ve worked in a brand new office. It’s a bit trendy, with metal floors, and a ceiling that looks half-finished by design. There is something quite odd about working in an office that smells so new.
There are many quirky features in the office that are quite fun, including a lot of ‘alternative’ working areas. It will take a bit of getting used to, but I think it might be a refreshing change from the classic ‘meeting room with a screen’ look and feel most office spaces have.
It’s been a bit too foggy to really enjoy the view, but the floor-to-ceiling glass walls should allow quite spectacular views over north London. Throw a fresh new cafeteria, a pool table, drum set and piano, and I think almost everyone should be able to find something to enjoy.
Paddington Central looks very un-English. It could have been transported from Amsterdam in many ways. That might also be the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal making its appearance that led to that feeling. Careful readers may have noticed that this is the second time the canal features in the past three days. I never said that this blog would be entirely random, did I? I think the area might actually quite fun. It feels professional, but not corporate.
Thus far I had successfully avoided needing to use the Tube on my commutes. Not so much now. The commute, on the nominally quickest route, now involves two terrors of the network: Victoria station at rush hour, and Oxford Circus. Throw in a bit of Southern Rail, and the combination has been less than pleasant so far.
A couple of new things for today’s post: an icy canal walk, seeing the Hanger Lane gyratory in person, and visiting Hanger Lane station. Nestled among these novelties was a wonderful meal prepared by Dan and Max.
Hanger Lane, station and gyratory
It dawned on me that I had never been on the West Ruislip branch of the Central line before at all, so a trip to Hanger Lane was quite exciting. An interesting station, with a lovely round station building. There is a slight oddity in that seemingly the only way to get the station is through some creepy-looking pedestrian subways which go under the North Circular and what looks like London’s biggest and most confusing roundabout. It’s all a bit too 1960s dystopia for my liking, to be honest. I’m usually quite good at working out directions, but it took us a few minutes to work out how to traverse this labyrinth. We worked our way through, though, and ended up at Max and Dan’s house along a canal for a lovely home-made feast of Mediterranean delights.
Canal, you say?
This is why I like this project: I had never walked along the Grand Union Canal‘s Paddington Arm before. I was aware of what the Grand Union Canal was, but couldn’t have told exactly where it was. And I certainly didn’t know that the Paddington Arm runs exactly where it does. So it forced me to look up all of the juicy details to be able to know exactly where I was. And that’s half the fun of this project: learning surprising new things about the world around us.
I also go to play around a bit with the photos I was taking and may have taken a picture of a wisp. See if you spot it.
We only took a brief walk along the canal, as it was quite cold, dark and muddy. After a quick pint at the Grand Junction Arms, it was time to go home from Harlesden station, where the tube driver was kind enough to re-open the doors as he saw us running down the stairs. Perhaps an argument to delay the implementation of driver-less trains 🙂